2020 was a year like none in living memory. From the economy to education, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted every facet of society. Governments scrambled to contain the virus, while health-care systems were swamped by the sick. On an individual level, billions of people suffered mentally, physically and financially as they coped with lockdowns and loneliness.
As this annus horribilis draws to a close, futurists are busy predicting its fallout. Which changes will stick? Which ones will pass? And could there be a silver lining in this misery?
One area that may never be the same is the workplace. Around the world, office towers sit empty while employees toil in their spare room, bedroom, or converted closet. Zoom is the new boardroom, Teams the new cafeteria. This has provoked a shift in everything from clothing (sweats over suits) to home design (open concept is out, walls are in).